ANGEL OF MERCY
“My religion is humanitarianism, which is the basis of every religion in the world.”
Even a single word uttered by Abdul Sattar Edhi used to make a huge impact on people; that was the stature of Pakistan’s greatest philanthropist.
Throughout his life, Edhi sahab has set examples for the world to follow. In fact, more work and less talk remained his principal till the very end.
Abdul Sattar Edhi - the 'Angel of Mercy' of Pakistan turned 89 this year.
His birthday has been honoured with a Google Doodle dedicated to an award-winning philanthropist and humanitarian.
Born in Gujarat, in British India, in 1928, Edhi and his Muslim family moved to Pakistan in 1947 during the violent partition of the subcontinent.
He soon noticed that many Pakistanis lacked medicine, education, and other essentials, and he made it his life's mission to help others.
In 1951, he established the Edhi foundation, funded solely through donations, focusing on addicts, battered women, orphans and the disabled.
Recognised by his long white beard and traditional black cap, Edhi was a hero to the poor but infuriated some religious leaders for his refusal to give preferential treatment to Muslims above minorities.
He also berated radical Islamist groups for attacking civilians, criticised the government for incompetence and corruption, and denounced tax-dodging by the rich.
The Edhi foundation was at the forefront of the response in 2015 when a devastating heat wave struck Karachi, a city of about 20 million people.
The charity has also helped thousands of people around the world in times of need, including survivors of Hurricane Katrina and thousands of Pakistani orphans.
Edhi passed away on July 8 last year and was laid to rest in the clothes he died in.
He was buried in a grave he himself dug several years earlier at the Edhi cemetery near Karachi.